Ross Elbert Paver

Ross Elbert Paver (Los Angeles 1942-1972) A warm, welcoming soul eclipsed too soon. Ross was by nature gregarious, optimistic, caring, progressive, curious, and handsome, seemingly with nothing to stand in his way.  After High School in Glendale CA, he flourished at UCLA, participating in ROTC, the ATO fraternity, and Varsity Rowing, graduating in 1965.  He served in Vietnam from 1966 – 68 with an Army team reporting the deaths of fallen soldiers.  He was honorably discharged but disillusioned. His immediate family included his parents, Fernora (Weaver) and Clayton, and his brother Clayton, Jr., a Baptist minister. He met his wife Holly (Heiman) on a UCLA ski trip in 1970: he joined as an alum and Holly was a student in a Master’s program after her return to the States for college.

An empathetic person, he chose to work for the Economic Opportunity Office of the California State University system.  Things looked bright: rewarding job, newly married, cozy home, big dog, cool friends, coaching youth sports.  But, the ‘times they were a-changin’ and he internalized the tumult in current events.  In the summer of 1972, close to his 30th birthday, Ross suffered a sudden mental break at work, becoming delusional and withdrawn in the months that followed. Unfortunately, the distress of mental health interventions for his family over the years, lead him to resist treatment. In the end, a psychotic crisis triggered a pick-up and evaluation by the ill-prepared LA Police, with an ill-timed and uncoordinated release. That night Ross died under unresolved circumstances.

He brought the best of himself, which was no match for internal struggles and external pressures.  He was much loved but sometimes that is not enough.